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LifeofBrian.jpgI go beyond a cliché when I say that Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” finally out on DVD, couldn’t be made today: not because the theocrats have won, but because the anti-Christians take themselves so seriously it’s hard to imagine them blaspheming just for the fun of it.
Though they hadn’t performed together for years, the Pythons were at the height of their powers in 1979 when they used a biopic of Brian, a first-century Palestinian who is forced to join a group of Judean freedom fighters and gets mistaken for Jesus, to lampoon not just organized religion, but politics, the military, education. With loving attention to Christian trivia (we see all 24 “Messiahs” of Jesus’ time competing for listeners in the marketplace) and the Christian message (at the crucifixion, the dead begin to sing “Look on the Bright Side of Life”), “Life of Brian” is an antidote to the culture war, whichever side you’re on.

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